Kimberly Bryant, second from the left (Courtesy photo)
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Comcast committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Comcast is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
The night of September 11, 2001, Kimberly Bryant drove her boyfriend to the airport to deploy immediately to the Middle East. "That was the last time I saw the man I knew, the man I fell in love with," she recalls. On that deployment, her boyfriend was severely injured and returned home with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. When he was medically retired and deemed unemployable, with 100 percent disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs, various people told her that she had no obligation to him, but she couldn't walk away.
"I knew the person he was before this happened," she says. They got engaged, married, and raised a family together.
EULESS, Texas — Six months ago, Larry Fromme rarely left his apartment, and he worried that he might get evicted as he struggled to pay his rent and buy groceries.
Fromme, 80, is a disabled veteran who served in the U.S. Army as a private first class in Germany at the height of the Cold War. He was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, and said he often had nightmares about serving in a stressful environment.
Fromme recalled what it was like to be isolated and the difficulties of finding people who understood his struggles.
"I was down in the dumps," he said. "I was looking for people to talk to."
Fromme described how it was difficult for him to leave his apartment as no one thanked him for his service, although he wore his cap displaying the words, "disabled veteran" when he went shopping.
But now life is getting better for Fromme as he regularly meets with veterans who understand the stress of serving in the military and what it is like to be ignored.
"Plenty of people have been shot, don't be a fucking pussy about this," is not the advice many Americans would give a friend still in intensive care after surviving a gunshot wound. But then again, Green Beret veteran Kevin Flike probably didn't need any of their shitty advice.
History is made by those who show up, the old cliche goes. For modern political life, the message is clear: Every vote matters, so long as you actually take the time to cast it. Indeed, modern U.S. government is full of examples of a few votes — or a single vote — making all the difference:
Anthony Drees vividly recalls the 1991 Iraqi missile attack on U.S. military barracks in Saudi Arabia that claimed the lives of more than two dozen fellow service members — an event that would also put his on a new course.